Why we should all care about cleaner air says Oldham Council

Hundreds of people across the borough recently took part in the ‘Clean Air conversation’ and Greater Manchester’s first ever Clean Air Week.

People in Oldham were among the thousands of residents and businesses from across the region who gave their views on the Greater Manchester Clean Air Plan proposals during the seven-week conversation that closed on 30th June.

It’s estimated polluted air contribute to the equivalent of 1,200 deaths in Greater Manchester each year.

It affects us all but children, older people and those with existing health conditions worst.

Oldham Council, along with the nine other GM local authorities, and supported by TfGM, has developed ambitious proposals to tackle the urgent problem of roadside air pollution across the region. They include:

A Greater Manchester Clean Air Zone which the most polluting buses, coaches, HGVs, vans, taxis and private hire vehicles would pay a daily penalty to drive in.

A multi-million pound funding package to support local businesses and sole traders to upgrade to cleaner vehicles.

Trebling the number of electric vehicle public charging points.

Support to help GM to switch to cleaner transport.

Dr Zahid Chauhan, cropped

Councillor Zahid Chauhan, Cabinet Member Health and Social Care, said: “Air pollution is the largest environmental public health issue facing towns and cities across the UK – including Oldham.

“Simple changes like walking or cycling for shorter journeys or the school run – or switching your engine off when you’re at a standstill for a while, can make a real difference.

Councillor Ateeque Ur Rehman, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhood Services, said: “We’d like to thank everyone who took the time to take part on the conversation and Clean Air Week. It was good to see several of our schools got involved.

“We’re now using the feedback we received during the conversation to develop the detailed Clean Air Plan proposals.”

If you missed out this time, there will be another chance to have your say.

A statutory public consultation will follow, giving you another opportunity for comment and feedback before proposals are resubmitted to local authorities for their further consideration and approval.

A full business case would then be developed and submitted to government.

Subject to government approval and funding, measures would be introduced from 2020, with the Clean Air Zone being introduced in two phases from 2021 and 2023.

A Clean Air schools’ toolkit designed to support teachers and students understand and address air pollution is available cleanairgm.com/schools

You can find out more at cleanairgm.com where you can also sign up for the latest clean air news and updates.

 


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